PALO ALTO, Calif. – Despite nearly overcoming a 25-point deficit, the Pacific men's basketball team dropped its regular-season opener, 89-80, to Stanford at Maples Pavilion on Sunday evening.
Pacific falls to 0-1 early in the season, while Stanford improves to 2-0.
Miles Reynolds and Roberto Gallinat led the Tigers' offensive efforts, each with double-digit scoring performances. Reynolds led with 20 points after going six-for-15 from the floor and eight-for-nine from the free throw line. Reynolds also led Pacific with three assists. Gallinat had 15 points, making six-of-14, including two from three-point range.
Anthony Townes attempted a double-double, but fouled out of the game with over 10 minutes remaining in regulation to finish with a team-high 10 rebounds and nine points.
Turnovers and fouls were a huge issue in the first half for the Tigers, handing the ball over eight times, with six turnovers committed in the first 10 minutes of play. In addition, Stanford was perfect from the free throw line, going 19-for-19. Anthony Townes, Jahlil Tripp, and Kendall Small were each called for three fouls in the half.
The Tigers came out strong, winning the jump and scoring first on a dunk by Gallinat. Pacific held a narrow lead until a layup by Stanford's Dorian Pickens tied it up at 6-6 in the 15th minute.
The Cardinal took its first lead at 15:23 with a three from Michael Humphrey, and then went on an 8-2 run that forced the Tigers to take its first timeout at 13:57. Stanford held a comfortable lead throughout the half with its largest lead of 25 coming off of a dunk by Humphrey with 1:42 remaining until halftime.
Namdi Okonkwo knocked down a short jumper over his left shoulder to lead the Tigers in a final push before intermission. At 1:27 Okonkwo went back to the basket, tapping in a floater from Miles Reynolds and just 11 seconds later Gallinat sank a three-pointer to cut the lead back to 20 points (49-29).
The Cardinal went back to the line twice more times before Reynolds laid the ball on the glass for two more Pacific points. Pacific headed to the locker room down 53, 31.
Pacific played much better in the second half, shooting 58.6 percent from the field and 70.6 percent from the free throw line. The Tigers also protected their possession significantly better, surrendering the ball just four times in the half.
Defensively, the Tigers out-rebounded the Cardinal in the second half, 18-15 while also forcing Stanford to take early shots which resulted in a 39.1 shooting percentage. Pacific also forced seven Cardinal turnovers.
Stanford kept a comfortable lead a majority of the second-half play, but following Townes' fifth and final foul, at 10:52, the Tigers had to play a much tighter game and began to drive to the basket and force fouls on their end of the court. In the second half, Pacific shot 12-for-17 in free throws.
A made jumper by Reynolds at 9:44 put the Tigers within 15, but Stanford quickly answered back with a dunk by Oscar Da Silva. Okonkwo put Pacific back within 15 with a dunk of his own at 8:51, which in turn led to an eight point swing that ended with another Okonkwo dunk from Reynolds to put Pacific within 7 points.
The Tigers held close to the Cardinal, but at 2:32 they had one final push as Gallinat drove to the basket, making his shot and getting fouled in the process. After making his free throw Pacific trailed by just seven. Lafayette Dorsey snagged a rebound on Stanford's end of the floor and finished the play with a short jumper to put the Tigers within five (85-80).
Following that play, Pacific struggled to finish on its shots and eventually dropped its first contest of the season.
Pacific returns home Wednesday night, when they host UC Davis at 7:30 pm. The men's game will follow the Tigers' women's basketball contest against UC Merced, which is schedule to begin at 5:00 pm.
Be sure to follow Pacific men's basketball on Twitter (@PacificMensBB) and on Instagram at pacificmensbb.